Suspected Mexican drug cartel member charged in major Brown County narcotics, meth bust

Updated: May. 20, 2021 at 3:57 PM CDT
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GREEN BAY, Wis. (WBAY) - An alleged member of a Mexican drug cartel has been charged in a massive drug conspiracy involving meth, fentanyl, cocaine and heroin in Brown County, according to a criminal complaint obtained by Action 2 News.

Manuel Antonio Herrera-Hernandez, 32, is being charged with 15 counts related to possession of drugs with the street value of $115,000. He’s also charged with conspiracy to deliver drugs. He was ordered held on $150,000 cash bond Thursday.

Hererra-Hernandez told investigators that drugs had been sent to him from the “New Generation Drug Cartel” out of Mexico. Seized during searches in the case were:

  • 1,812 grams meth (4 pounds)
  • 24 grams heroin (almost 1 ounce)
  • 58 grams fentanyl (2 ounces)
  • 16.3 grams cocaine (over half an ounce)

A special agent from the Wisconsin Department of Justice Division of Criminal Investigation had been doing surveillance of Herrera-Hernandez at a home in the 500 block of 15th Street in Green Bay as part of an ongoing drug investigation.

On May 17, Herrera-Hernandez was pulled over for a traffic stop and a K-9 was called to the scene. The Brown County Drug Task Force says officers seized 44.71 grams of the powerful opioid fentanyl and 360.93 grams of meth. Officers also seized money and cell phones.

On May 18, the drug task force and DCI executed a search at hotel room in Allouez where Herrera-Hernandez was staying and found cocaine, 3.76 grams of “black tar heroin,” meth and more phones.

Another search was performed at a suite in the hotel where officers located heroin, cocaine and meth. Officers found a “drug ledger” that contained names and amounts owed. They found used syringes. More cell phones were seized.

Investigators say evidence indicates distribution, because drugs were found in smaller “gem” bag packages used in drug deals. The multiple cell phones are also a sign of a drug conspiracy, according to investigators.

On the same date, investigators executed a search warrant at the home in the 500 block of 15th Avenue in Green Bay. They seized 16.25 grams of cocaine, 13.88 grams of fentanyl, 20.33 grams of heroin, and 1,451.50 grams of meth. Drug paraphernalia and cell phones were seized. Investigators found $8,800 in cash. A sawed-off shotgun was seized.

The complaint says Herrera-Hernandez and two others who were taken into custody lived at the Green Bay home. Searchers found bills and pay stubs with Herrera-Hernandez’s name. “Said reports indicate this is consistent with money transfer documents located in the 15th Avenue residence,” reads the criminal complaint.

Herrera-Hernandez told investigators that the drugs belonged to him and had been provided by the cartel.

Also in the 18-page criminal complaint against Hernandez there is one line which says his friend’s car that was being searched for this case is said to be involved in a homicide and was immediately towed from the scene. It provided no other details.

We searched federal court records and found Hernandez was “physically removed to Mexico... in February of 2013″ following convictions in Virginia in 2010 for possession with intent to distribute controlled substances and a firearm violation.

In 2018, in federal court in Wisconsin, Hernandez was charged for illegal re-entry after an aggravated felony. In a letter to the judge, he wrote, “poor choices led to his arrest and conviction of a serious drug crime... [and he learned] a lesson that kept him away from drugs or guns since that time.” He was sentenced to 14 months in federal prison.

Since then, Hernandez has been charged in an OWI hit-and-run and other drug cases in Brown, Oconto and Waupaca counties. He was out on a $25,000 bond for a drug case in Oconto during this most recent arrest.

Action 2 News is following this case carefully, and we’ll alert you with new details we uncover.

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